A Cut Above the Rest, the Art of Kirigami

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Kirigami? Don’t you mean Origami?

Most people are familiar with the paper folding process we now know as origami? Kirigami is similar to origami in that it is a form of paper art. The major difference is that in origami, you fold paper whereas in kirigami, you fold and cut paper. Most people will remember their first encounter with kirigami at an early age, as a way to make those intricate paper snowflakes in elementary school. Unfolding the paper snowflake is a fun surprise because it’s almost impossible to make the exact pattern twice.

But nowadays many artistes have taken this process to a whole new level, and that’s right: it is no longer just an arts and crafts project but rather an art-form in itself; some artists can make extremely elaborate kirigami patterns. These often retain a high level of symmetry and have a delicate lace-like quality.

Kirigami characters by Haruki
Kirigami characters by Haruki

Sure, cutting paper snowflakes is fun and all, but the precision and dedication that goes into the true art-form makes for some truly eye-opening pieces of work. One case in point is the Japanese artist Haruki, who has gained a large following on Instagram and Twitter by showcasing various kirigami art. But how he puts his own unique spin on it is by deconstructing familiar consumer products or, in most cases, food packaging.

Image courtesy @02ESyRaez4VhR2l/Twitter
Kirigami characters by Haruki | image courtesy @02ESyRaez4VhR2l/Twitter

It is such a simple but yet genius idea and some food for thought: by starting with packaging that already has exciting art provides a jumping off point to let the construction of the work begin. Haruki’s kirigami statues are delicate and imaginative sculptures created by cutting and folding simple packages made of paperboard, sometimes even without any loss of material. Yes, that’s right nothing ends up on the ‘cutting room floor’. For example, Haruki has turned the Pringles tube packaging into a funny character with the face of Julius Pringles, the mascot of the brand. He has also created sailing ships, knights, and other beautiful items starting from only chocolate boxes.

No matter how you decide to cut it, Haruki’s kirigami is beautiful, fun and a totally different take on reusable packaging. And although most of us will probably just stick to making paper snowflake kirigami, maybe before tossing out that box of cereal or can of Pringles, it just might be worth it to take a second look.

Sources
  1. A Japanese artist transforms the packaging of everyday objects into delicate works of art

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